So today I want to talk about the latest entrant to the Crypto Currency market, IOTA. It was only about 2-3 weeks ago that IOTA made a grand entrance to the 7th position on "Coin Market Cap". It's entry was with a bang, straight to the top 7th spot in a highly populated crypto world, that already has about 800 coins, and that too with almost $1.5 Billion USD market cap. Since it's a new entrant, not many people know about it because most exchanges don't trade IOTA. I think the only Exchange trading in IOTA/USD and IOTA/BTC is Bitfinex.
IOTA was created as a derivation of blockchain technology but it's much more advanced. IOTA is created for the Internet of Things, which in layman's terms means connecting the non-network devices including cars, electronic devices etc, to the internet. But as we all know there're hidden dangers in achieving this, one of which is DDos attacks, malware, viruses etc. Therefor if we need to connect all the devices to internet, we need to have a system that can keep these things safe.
One could argue the case of Ethereum or Bitcoin network to come to the rescue but these networks have their own drawbacks. Like in case of Bitcoin, there're are scalability issues, network speed issues as well as high processing fee problems etc etc.
To take care of all these issues, enters IOTA, which is a completely open source program run by a non-profit organization and they're basically focussed on just one thing, and that is IoT(Internet Of Things). But the difference here is that it's not based on the Blockchain technology that powers Bitcoin and Ethereum, but it's based on what they're calling "TANGLE", which is a new blockless distributed ledger that is scalable, lightweight and fee-less.
In Blockchain, the transactions are verified by miners but in TANGLE, each transaction forms a new block and is verified by itself. But if you want your transactions to be entered into the ledger, you must also act as a relay for at least 2 other transactions. So essentially miners aren't required to certify that a transaction has taken place. Data will be verified and signed by an IOTA node. The authenticity and integrity of the data when a payment is made can be assured using the signatures and immutable hash values.
So the main differentiating points between IOTA and other Blockchain based coins is as below:
1. Fee-less Transaction since there're no miners required to authenticate a transaction
2. Scalability - It can adapt to high transaction environments as it's designed for the Internet of Things, which potentially means Billions of connected devices.
3. Offline transactions - Tangle is designed less riorously which means it can enable the network to build clusters and in turn that can make transactions in an offline environment as well. Each IOTA node can operate without connecting to the main Tangle and if they later wish to connect to the network when the internet is available, it can do so easily.
Now, to the ultimate question of whether we should invest in IOTA?
Internet of Things means communication between billions of devices, most of which aren't on the network presently and that means when they do start connecting there'll be new revenues and growth opportunities. There's an expectation that by 2020 there'll be more than 1 billion devices connected to each other and that could open up huge opportunities for secure, cheap and micro billing mechanisms.
Also, since it's a new Coin, it's hasn't been mass adopted and it's only available to trade on one platform(Bitfinex) presently. Imagine, if it starts trading on 2-3 other platforms, the price can go off the roof. Another thing to note is that IOTA has strategic partnerships with few big retail companies and they're forging new partnerships every day which hasn't been revealed publicly. When they decide to let the market know about these partnerships, I think the price will at least double overnight as we have seen happen with Ripple recently.
So In my opinion, you should definitely invest in IOTA before others get hold of it and the price becomes out of reach.